Golf 04

Donald L. Chipman

December 20, 1930 ~ September 19, 2022 (age 91)

Obituary

After 91 years playing earthbound courses whenever and wherever he could, Don Chipman stepped into the T-box with his favorite driver in hand, took one great swing and began his first walk down the fairway to the perfect greens in Heaven Monday morning, September 19, 2022. 

Although he was born Donald L. Chipman on Dec. 20, 1930 the son of Bertha Mae (Roudebush) Chipman and Edward Staunton Chipman, for most of his life he would be known as Chip, by his friends: “Dad,” to his children, and occasionally as “Donald” when he exasperated the love of his life, “Blanchie Lou.” 

He married Blanche Lovekamp on Oct. 7, 1956 and the two of them started what would be a 65-year journey through life together in Beardstown.  Together they raised a son Matthew and a daughter Lesli who were the light of his life. Together they saw the births of five grandchildren and the death of one grandchild. 

Don is survived by his wife Blanche; their son Matthew and wife Kathy, along with their children Jonathan Hanlon, Haley Chipman & Josee Chipman; and their daughter Lesli, her husband Doug Reynolds and their children Ella and  Lucy Reynolds.  He is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Tripp and Jak Sanders. Numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces & great nephews also survive. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings Evelyn McKernan, Florence Haines, Faye Releford, Caroline Bankes, Geraldine Adcock, Gerald Chipman, Bill Chipman, Bernard Chipman, and numerous step-siblings; he was also preceded in death by one grandson Benjamin Reynolds. 

Born during the depression, Don learned the value of hard work at an early age, taking odd jobs to help his mother support the family. After graduating from Rushville High School in 1949, he attended Western Illinois University and studied accounting.  

In 1950, he enlisted in the Army and served with a combat engineering unit in Korea as part of the Second Infantry Division. 

Upon his return from Korea, Don “began his newspaper career” working in the press room as a typesetter at the Rushville Times,  at a time when the job required handling hot lead type. 

Possessing a natural “gift of gab” and a character that didn’t know a stranger, Don began working for Woody Sudbrink as a salesman and announcer for WRMS, then Beardstown’s AM radio station. In 1966 Don was given the task of opening another radio station for Sudbrink in Burlington, IA (a move that lasted all of six months.) 

He returned to Beardstown as manager at WRMS and shortly thereafter took on the additional role as general manager for the Illinoian-Star after Sudbrink bought the paper. 

After the radio station was sold, Don became a sales representative for Country Companies Insurance, before joining Dick Pearson to open the Insurance Placement Center in the late 70s.  Chipman continued selling insurance until his “retirement.” 

For Don, selling insurance turned out to be the means to an end. It was a way he could support his family, his golf habit, and another great love — high school sports. 

In 1960, along with John Conner, Don began his career as a sports journalist.  For 40 years, John Conner and Don Chipman were the “voice” of Beardstown Tiger athletics, covering hundreds of games and thousands of miles as they followed the Tigers at home and away. John provided the play-by-play calls, while Don kept the stats and provided the color commentary.  

Then in 1976, Don began covering Tiger athletics for the newspaper.  As girls sports, wrestling and soccer were added to the Tiger sports schedule, Don expanded his coverage to include them as well. 

In 2018, Don was honored as a recipient of the Illinois High School Associations Distinguished Media Service award in recognition of his 58 years’ combined coverage of high school athletics. In 2019, he was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame as a sports writer. He was also recognized by a local area TV station as a “Hometown Hero,” for his decades of service promoting the accomplishments of young athletes. 

As a columnist, Don’s “Chip shots,” column made non golfers want to read the weekly antics of the Mens Thursday Night Twilight Golf League to find out who “El Cid’s” pointed pen would skewer, and Chip’s Corner kept readers up to date on all things Illini, Cubs, Cards, Bears, NASCAR and of course golf. 

As sports editor, he saw his role change from meeting a daily deadline in the 70s to a weekly deadline in the 90s. He moved from submitting hand-written or type-written stories to electronic emailed or computer generated copy.  Don was well into his 80s when he began learning how to design newspaper pages on a computer screen, and though it frustrated him (and his colleagues) at times, he saw it through. 

When it came to sports, Chip wasn’t just a fan, he was a die-hard fan of “the Cubbies,” the Bears, the Illini. And the Tigers 

Though a Schuyler County man by birth, Don Chipman became a proud Beardstown resident by choice. He developed a love for his adopted community and got involved. He was a former president of Schmitt Memorial Hospital’s board of directors; a member and elder of St. John’s Lutheran Church; and a Lion’s Club member.  He also played a key role in the establishment of the Tiger Athletic Club, and the Beardstown United Way. He was a proud combat veteran and a member of VFW Post 1239. 

Don Chipman was a multi-facetted man who defies being pigeon-holed into any one category. 

His booming baritone voice usually made his presence known long before he entered the room, and its absence made it clear he’d left. His voice made it easy to hear him when he wanted to make a point, and sometimes let him be heard when he really hoped no one was listening. 

He was boisterous, bombastic, gregarious, and sarcastic; he was funny, generous, kind, and sentimental. 

But of all the words that could be used to describe Don Chipman, (there are too many to list, not to mention some that shouldn’t listed at all.)  Of all the words he would like to be remembered by, he would choose just four. 

Husband, Dad, Grandpa, & friend. 

Don Chipman was indeed one of a kind.  He is one, who will be remembered.  He is one, who will be missed by many. 

Funeral services will be held at 10 AM Saturday, October 1, 2022 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beardstown, with burial in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. The family will meet with friends from 4-7 PM Friday at Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown. In honor of Don, for his visitation you are encouraged to wear Beardstown Tiger, Illini, Chicago Bears, or Chicago Cubs attire.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been suggested to St. John’s Lutheran Church or Beardstown Tiger Athletic Club (TAC). Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald L. Chipman, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Visitation
Friday
September 30, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Colwell Memorial Home (Beardstown)
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Funeral Service
Saturday
October 1, 2022

10:00 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church
214 East Sixth Street
Beardstown, Illinois 62618
Guaranteed delivery before the Funeral Service begins

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